Brits would call in sick with a broken arm, but refuse to stop driving

Brits would call in sick with a broken arm, but refuse to stop driving

Although more than half (58%) of Brits would recognise they’re too sick to work, they would still get behind the wheel of their car, according to new research.

The survey, conducted by car finance specialist Zuto, asked 1,003 motorists about their attitudes towards driving while suffering from the effects of ten common conditions only to find that while nearly of half of Brits (47%) would call in sick after breaking an arm, over a fifth (21%) would continue to drive.

Meanwhile, while 38% of Brits would call in sick if suffering from sciatica. The illness, which in extreme cases can cause stiff or weak legs, would not stop more than half (53%) getting out on the road.

Furthermore, nearly nine in ten (86%) motorists said they would take to the roads when they had a cold/flu, risking the effects of the illness and its treatments.

Overall, the results showed that while a third (36%) of motorists would consider themselves too ill to work, over half (58%) of Brits would still get behind the wheel.

Encouraging safety on the roads, Zuto wants to ensure that UK drivers are fully aware of the perils to themselves and others when driving with common illnesses.

Christine Davies, a pharmacy technician of over 20 years, said: "Quite a lot of people aren't aware that the medicines they're taking can have an effect on their concentration and could cause drowsiness.”

"The thing to remember is that all drugs have some side effects, but they aren't the same for everyone and can interact with other regular medications. The main thing is if you're taking anything new, and you start to feel unusual in any way, check with your doctor or pharmacist."

The illnesses Brits say they drive with:

IllnessPotential Issues
Cold/Flu - 86%Slowed reactions, alertness and uncontrolled sneezing
Ear Infection - 80%Pain, nausea, reduced hearing and potential dizziness
Back Pain - 69%Painkillers used to treat can cause dizziness and slowed reactions
Tonsillitis/Glandular Fever - 64%Extreme fatigue and fever
Kidney Infection - 58%High levels of pain fever, chills, fatigue, nausea and diarrhoea
Sciatica/Trapped Nerve - 53%Extreme cases can cause stiff or weak legs
Eye Infection - 52%Potential blurred vision
Migraine - 46%Nausea, impaired vision, Sensitivity to light and sound and slowed mental processing
Sickness & Diarrhoea - 46%Fever and stomach discomfort
Broken Arm - 21%Reduced range of movement

Ailments which can cause visual impairments were met with worrying indifference by off-colour drivers. Nearly half (46%) of those suffering from a migraine – with symptoms including blurred vision – still felt it was safe to drive, while 52% of those with eye infections said they’d be happy to risk a trip on the roads.

A further breakdown of the results showed that just under one in three (29%) said they’d only drive for journeys they would describe as necessary, for example taking the kids to school. While around quarter (23%) of people said they’d still carry on with their daily tasks, like going to the supermarket, when feeling unwell.

Ryan Dignan from Zuto said: “Many of us follow the weekly routine of driving to work, doing the school run and stocking up on groceries, but when illness hits, it’s vital that we pay attention to the effect it’s having on us.

“Taking to the roads with blurry vision or whilst distracted by pain is just as dangerous as the more obvious risks like speeding. Our guide highlights the dangers of common illness we’re likely to ignore, so we’re encouraging all drivers to start paying attention to those little things that can have a big effect.”

To find out if it’s safe to drive when suffering from and being treated for common illnesses, go to the Zuto website.


Notes to Editors

Survey conducted by Atomik with 1,003 respondents.

Breakdown of Illnesses that Brits said would call in sick and would drive with:

Illness% Would Call in Sick For% Would Drive With
Sick & Diarrhoea62%46%
Broken Arm47%21%
Tonsillitis/Glandular Fever43%64%
Kidney Infection41%58%
Sciatica/Trapped Nerve38%53%
Migraine32%46%
Back Pain30%69%
Cold/Flu27%86%
Eye Infection24%52%
Ear Infection19%80%

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